After-School Pursuits: An Examination of Outcomes in the San Francisco Beacon Initiative

by Amy J. A. Arbreton; Karen E. Walker

Mar 1, 2004
The San Francisco Beacon Initiative (SFBI) has been in effect in the San Francisco Unified School District since 1996. A collaboration of public and private funders, SFBI operates comprehensive after-school programs in six middle schools, one elementary school and one high school. P/PVs evaluation found that SFBI programs consisted of high quality after-school activities, provided young people with important developmental experiences (such as adult support) and prevented declines in school effort (typical among middle school youth). Although the initiative did not explicitly set out to improve young peoples academic outcomes, these were also examined. Despite the high quality of the centers developmental programs, participants showed no academic gains, and the authors conclude that positive developmental experiences are not sufficient for ensuring academic success among youth who are already struggling in school.
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